Weather has a tremendous impact upon our ranch from day to day and year to year. As much as we try to plan, both short-term and long-term, those plans are nearly always dependent upon the weather.
This year has been a surprisingly wet year for our ranch. We received tremendous moisture in the spring and summer. What do I mean by tremendous? Well, it’s all on the eye of the beholder, isn’t it? The average annual precipitation for our area is 10″. That’s ten inches of total rain or snow. In one year. Basically, we live in the middle of a desert. When it does rain, the ground soaks it in and the grass shoots skyward. This year our area has received far more than the average amount of annual precipitation.
In other words, we are enjoying a good grass year on most areas of our ranch. Those ears you can barely see through the grass? They belong to a group of steers we bought earlier this summer out of north-central Nevada. I do believe they are content living on our ranch!
While we are reaping the benefits of a good grass year, I have many friends in the southwestern United States who are suffering through a severe drought. The stories they tell of selling their cows because there is simply no feed available are heartbreaking and humbling.
I listen to their stories and offer words of support, feeling futile and helpless. Then I remember the many phone calls and emails I received from these friends when we were coping with the Murphy Complex Fire here in Idaho. I remember how touched I was that they took the time to let us know they were thinking of our family and our livestock.
It is a reminder that cattle producers across the country all face severe weather in their regions. Knowing how hard we all work to produce a a safe beef supply, we feel each others pain in the face of harsh, cruel weather conditions.
Like many, I am praying that the rains will soon arrive for that region of our country.